ACE Mentor Program
A nonprofit founded in 1994, ACE was established to help design professionals mentor high school students, especially underserved minority groups and women. The national program (founder Charles H. Thornton, Hon. AIA, pictured) pairs students and mentors, who work together on design projects in teams. Three percent of all applicants to U.S. architecture schools identify themselves as ACE alumni.

National Building Museum
Located in Washington, D.C., the National Building Museum (executive director Chase W. Rynd, pictured) has educated the general public and professionals about design since it opened in 1985. The museum has staged hundreds of design exhibits, honored industry leaders with its Vincent Scully Prize, held lecture series on women in architecture and other topics, and helped mentor students with design competitions and other programming.

Post-Sandy Initiative
Led by the AIA New York Chapter’s Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (current chapter president Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, pictured), the Post-Sandy Initiative brought together a variety of design organizations and thought leaders to help establish best practices during the short- and long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts. The committee’s leadership helped inform zoning and construction changes by city agencies.

Rick Smith
A pioneer in computer-aided design and 3D digital modeling, Smith made invaluable contributions to iconic projects by Frank Gehry, FAIA, including the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Smith collaborated with contractors and fabricators to customize digital tools for those projects, and his work helped to usher in architecture’s digital age.